Thursday, February 25, 2016

 
A READER ASKS, WHY IS HARLINGEN RATES GOING DOWN AND OUR ARE NOT?

I did not want to respond until I saw the report on News 5.  I also needed to do some research.  Also today I have had contractors in all day doing estimates and signing contracts. 

The answer is simple.  The rates are not going down in Harlingen.  The city such as airlines buy on the open market electrical rates to last for a term certain.  Airlines  do it with jet fuel. The current term is up at the end of 2017.  The city, not the residents, negotiated a new contract which will lower the rates for city entities starting in 2018, not now.

Unlike Brownsville Harlingen does not have a Public Utility Board managing electricity, water, sewage and garbage for everyone covered by the BPUB.

The residents of Harlingen still have to shop around with any number of entities for their electricity and are not directly impacted by the deal the city of Harlingen negotiated for themselves.

I already did a story on the Brownsville issue.  The fuel surcharge for the BPUB based on current prices for oil should not exist at all.  In fact it is higher than when oil was nearly three times it costs today.  The fuel surcharge is an outright theft from the customers.  The city commission is fully aware of the problem and have decided to take no action.

Everyone knows I fully supported Tenaska because I think long term not short term.  But Tenaska by its own admission is not happening.  The price of oil is so low, Tenaska could not sell its share of the electricity it was going to generate.  Under the deal signed with the BPUB they do not have to build the plant until they sell their share of electricity.  So the question is, if Tenaska has already announced they are not moving forward, why are we still paying a higher rate for Tenaska?  Oh, there is an answer.

A side note, which does not bode well for Tenaska.  In the last few months, engineers at a major university have perfected like 6 " x 6" clear sheets which go over glass which act as solar energy panels.  I do not remember the name of the university, but it is a major university.  I did extensive research and the research is real.  Currently they are working on making larger sheets, and then developing it into commercial use.  If it works office buildings covered in glass will all be self sustaining in terms of solar energy.  The entire building will be one big solar panel.  In fact the prediction is, if cost can be brought down we will see it in residential construction first.  This reality will kill electrical generating plants, or at least the need for new plants.

SO WHY NO REDUCTION WITH TENASKA DEAD AND OIL SO CHEAP

The BPUB helps to fund the budget for the city of Brownsville.  The more the BPUB makes the more the city of Brownsville gets.  This is a backdoor tax which allows the city commission to tax us without a vote.

On the flip side, and I agree waste is a major problem within the COB, if they do not get the money from the BPUB, they are going to have to either cut services or go for a vote to raise taxes.  One way or the other the COB is going to gets its money.  It will get it from the BPUB, or through tax revenues.

There is no solution.  Sorry for the bad news.

Of course 4 city commissioners could vote to hire counsel to look into the purchase of Casa Del Nylon and the El Cid building thereby allowing the city to recover millions, but I can assure you Galonsky controls enough city commissions that, that is never going to happen.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for info,it looks like a closet tax hike for city coffers so the mayor can spend it on worthless buildings.I hope Mr De Leon can address this one day at a city commission meeting

Anonymous said...

Corruption Everywhere!

Recently a friend of mine constructed a new home. He went to the local electrical company to apply for his temporary electrical meter for the purpose of the construction of the home. He paid for the services and was told that a temporary electrical meter would be installed at the construction site in a few days. Within two days his construction site had electricity because the meter was installed within that short period of time. A few days later, he was having a conversation with the electrician at the construction site when a local electrical company truck drove up to the site. The electrician told him not to follow him and the electrician went on to meet the local electrical company worker who stayed in the truck. Weeks later, my friend learned that the local electrical company worker had gone to the construction site to be paid by the electrician for installing the temporary electrical meter in such a short period of time without having to wait for a longer period of time for the installation of the meter. For the electrician, time is money and having to wait for the installation of the meter is time wasted and no money to be made. The local electrical company workers will take there time installing the temporary electrical meters if they are not compensated by the construction electricians during the construction. Local electrical company workers know that the construction electricians will pay in order for the temporary electrical meters to be install as soon possible after the application and services are paid by the construction owner at the local electrical company office. We would think that such things only happen in Mexico and not in this town. Bobby please advise those administrators of public utilities to keep the proper management of their companies and to stop the corruption that is going on within their system.